Meet Lina Malaika and Farah Hammad, who after a random conversation, decided to start their own business right in the middle of an unprecedented COVID pandemic.
They launched, Clay Models, which is a model scouting agency which aims to connect the businesses and the talent through a local medium. The focal point of the startup was to be able to offer diversity for clients, rather than having specific categories. The website offers extensive filtering for female and male models from Saudi Arabia and abroad, and all are more than 21 years old.
The need for this website csme from an apparent lack in the local market, as Lina Malaika spoke to Arab news about the reair in the kingdom.
“Keep in mind, prior to the new Saudi vision, all luxury brands would shoot products dedicated to us in the GCC using foreign models. Shots in foreign locations that do not represent us, it does not appeal to us. And slowly, the brands started noticing, like, we need to speak to our clients," she states as she highlights the clear disconnect between the product marketing to the region and the actual consumers of those products.
“A lot of them started going to Dubai; it wasn’t acceptable to have models shooting in Saudi Arabia. Brands finally started wanting to use local models in Saudi Arabia, so again, I want to highlight that was very important for us to start this here — it was nonexistent,” she continued to explain.
The interesting thing about Clay is that even though it is a startup, it has established itself quite the excellent name in Jeddah and other cities in the MENA region. The presence of the business is currently only online, even though both founders have their studios.
Clay Models has been successful so far, not only due to the market gap that has been filled but because both of the founders come from impressive artistic background that help enhance the business acumen. Lina Malaika has been working as a filmmaker, designer and entrepreneur, while Farah Hammad is fashion designers that has worked both locally and internationally.